The most recommended Christmas books

Who picked these books? Meet our 179 experts.

179 authors created a book list connected to Christmas, and here are their favorite Christmas books.
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Book cover of Santa Bruce

Dawn Young Author Of Once Upon a Christmas

From my list on fun and festive Christmas pictures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write funny picture books. Since some of my best memories include reading to my kids while they were plopped in my lap, giggling at silly, fun picture books, I want to bring that same joy to families everywhere. I’m in awe of clever humor, and I’m especially fond of wordplay, puns, and jokes. Of all the holidays, Christmas is my favorite. The tree, the décor, and the traditions bring so much merriment. When my kids were young, reading Christmas books was a huge part of our holiday. Once Upon a Christmas gave me the chance to write a humorous, fun, and festive story that families can enjoy together.

Dawn's book list on fun and festive Christmas pictures

Dawn Young Why did Dawn love this book?

The whole Mother Bruce series is hilarious, especially Santa Bruce. I love the juxtaposition of Bruce’s grumpy attitude and the other characters’ enthusiasm. The characters’ facial expressions and body language are priceless. The animals get so excited when they see Bruce in his red suit, and they act just like kids do when they see Santa at the mall. Higgins even throws in some humor for the adult readers—in the ask of each of the animals—and near the end Bruce looks as exasperated as a parent trying to keep up with their holiday to-do list. To me this book has everything: great illustrations, an adorable cast of characters, and loads of humor. Higgins has captured the energy and excitement of the holidays perfectly.

By Ryan T. Higgins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Santa Bruce as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bruce is a lot of things. He is a bear. He is a grump. He is a pretty decent cook. And he is a mother. One thing Bruce is not? Santa Claus. But that doesn't stop the whole forest from lining up to give him their Christmas wishes when he becomes the victim of mistaken identity—again. Kids will howl with laughter as award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins delivers another hilarious story about this bear who just can't catch a break.


Book cover of The Greatest Gresham

Andrew Martin Author Of The Necropolis Railway

From my list on historical fiction to make you think you’re there.

Why am I passionate about this?

Most of my novels are historical, and they include ten books set on the railways of the early 20th Century featuring Jim Stringer, a railway policeman. I am romantically drawn to that period: no mobile phones, no fluorescent light or man-made fibres – and plenty of smoke and steam available for atmospheric effects. If you really did travel back in time, you would think you were hallucinating, so I take a visual approach, providing a series of images that I hope are historically accurate whilst also having the force and originality of dream scenes. It seems to me that the writers on my list take a similar approach. 

Andrew's book list on historical fiction to make you think you’re there

Andrew Martin Why did Andrew love this book?

For comfort reading, I like period children’s stories, as written by, say, E.Nesbit, Noel Streatfield, Richmal Crompton. Childhood seems to have been more fun when it came up against the constraints of an adult society more formal than our own. Gillian Avery’s achievement was to write spirited historical children’s stories that have all the social nuance you would find in the above authors. The Greatest Gresham (written in 1962, set in the 1890s) is about the timid children of one family who are brought out of their shells by the bolder kids next door, and it all feels just right. For instance, when the mother of the timid children is out on her ‘calling’ (or visiting) day, they always have tea with the family maids, one of whom habitually reads their fortune in their tea leaves. 

By Gillian Avery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Greatest Gresham as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The greatest Gresham Gillian Avery and John Verney


Book cover of Merry Measure

Casey Cox Author Of Got Me Merry

From my list on festive Christmas MM romances to get you merry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a MM romance author who loves Christmas. Except, living in Australia means my Christmas Day us spent lazing about in a pool in the middle of a summer heatwave. That’s why I love reading all the romance books about holidays where there’s snow, wintry nights, hot cocoa, and of course, all the love and feels we’ve come to expect at this magical time of year. There are too many MM holiday romances to mention, but I hope this list gives you a taste of what you can expect!

Casey's book list on festive Christmas MM romances to get you merry

Casey Cox Why did Casey love this book?

Lilly Morton is such an exceptional writer, she’s able to transport readers smack-bang to Christmas in Amsterdam. I loved that. I also loved the two characters, Arlo and Jack. So different in so many ways, and yet utterly perfect together. Expect plenty of laughs, great conversations, and of course, a happily ever after!

By Lily Morton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Merry Measure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Arlo Wright’s introduction to his sexuality came when he saw his older brother’s best friend, Jack Cooper, in his sweaty football kit. Unfortunately, he didn’t have long to enjoy the revelation because he promptly knocked himself out on a table.

Relations between them have never really moved on from that auspicious beginning. Arlo is still clumsy, and Jack is still as handsome and unobtainable as ever.

However, things look like they’re starting to change when Arlo finds himself sharing a room with Jack while on holiday in Amsterdam at Christmas. Will the festive spirit finally move them towards each other,…


Book cover of A Shepherd's Song: A Christmas Romance

Carolyn Astfalk Author Of All in Good Time

From my list on modern-day romantic escapes for frazzled Catholic moms.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a mom of four busy kids in grade school, middle school, high school, and college, reading a novel is my reward at the end of a hectic day. I’ve read hundreds of novels, many of them Christian romances, while sitting at my children’s bedsides. They have to be well-written, no smut, and if the characters are Catholic Christians like me, all the better.

Carolyn's book list on modern-day romantic escapes for frazzled Catholic moms

Carolyn Astfalk Why did Carolyn love this book?

A Shepherd’s Song was an unexpected Christmasy delight.

More real, more raw, and less sterile than characters I sometimes meet in Christian fiction, David Shepherd was so well-drawn in his unloved, screwed-up desperation, as was the heroine, Gloria. The Pittsburgh setting, which coincided with my time in college there, made my Yinzer heart happy.

The author did a great job of interweaving ideas and comparisons from David's area of expertise: astronomy. And, she employed some of the best original, well-crafted similes I’ve read.

By Janice Lane Palko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Shepherd's Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sometimes heroes aren’t born or made . . . they’re resuscitated.

Tom Shepherd, an alienated young man, agrees to sell the Christmas season’s hottest toy for three times its price to a desperate buyer. A screwup lands him in the middle of a bone marrow drive for a sick little boy named Christo. As the scene spirals out of his control, the media there turns Tom into a hero, dubbing him “The Good Shepherd,” and making Tom an overnight celebrity.

Gloria, Christo’s cousin, seeks out Tom to thank him for being kind so kind to the child, and Tom, bewitched…


Book cover of Ghosts for Christmas

Andi Brooks Author Of Ghost Stories For Christmas Volume One

From my list on ghostly Christmas stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Anglo Irish writer who is as filled with a wide-eyed wonder of the magic of Christmas in my middle age as I was as a small child. Alongside my lifelong love of Christmas and its traditions, I have enjoyed an equally long love of ghost stories. Combining these two passions, I am the editor of the Ghost Stories For Christmas anthologies of classic Christmas ghost stories, the first of which was published in 2022. I am also the writer of Ghostly Tales of Japan, a collection of original stories set throughout Japanese history.

Andi's book list on ghostly Christmas stories

Andi Brooks Why did Andi love this book?

I came across this anthology in my local library in the late 1980s or early 1990s. It is a real treasure trove of classic Christmas ghost stories from giants of the genre such as Dickens, Le Fanu, Peattie, Blackwood, and Nesbit. As an added bonus, it contains M. R. James’ only story actually set at Christmas, The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance. One thing that I liked about this anthology was that it collected together stories ranging from the Victorian era through to what was then the present day. Although I never owned a copy of my own, it became an annual tradition to reserve it and borrow it from the library to read over the Christmas period. Now living in Japan, it has been several decades since I last read it. Despite the stories being available in many anthologies, this seems a perfect collection, and as…

By Richard Dalby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ghosts for Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dalby, Richard


Book cover of The Holiday Swap

Sylvie Kurtz Author Of Christmas by Candlelight

From my list on Christmas stories with a romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a kid, I used to get to stay up to watch Hallmark movie specials with my Mom. Over the years, I forgot how much I enjoyed them. Then the pandemic hit and I needed something fun to watch, so I got hooked not only on Hallmark movies, but on Christmas books. With all the tension around the world, I found I couldn't write suspense anymore; it brought too much anxiety. Then I got the idea for a couple of Christmas stories. I hope you enjoy reading these Christmas-themed books as much as I did. I suggest snuggling into your favorite reading spot with a comfy blanket, some tea and cookies.

Sylvie's book list on Christmas stories with a romance

Sylvie Kurtz Why did Sylvie love this book?

This was simply a fun book. I watch a lot of baking shows, so when I saw that the setting involved both a reality cooking show and a bakery, I knew I was in my element. After an accident on set that leaves one twin sister unable to taste, she needs to swap places with her sister to save the show. This, of course, leads to all sorts of misunderstandings that make the story fast-paced and fun. As a warning, this book will make you hungry, especially for fresh-baked bread.

By Maggie Knox,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Holiday Swap as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The International Bestseller—A feel-good, holiday rom com about identical twins who swap lives twelve days before Christmas—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze and Josie Silver’s One Day in December
 
All they want for Christmas is a different life.

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell—both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie's identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint…


Book cover of Christmas Charms

Michelle Douglas Author Of Waking Up Married to the Billionaire

From my list on Christmas romances to make you happy sigh.

Why am I passionate about this?

What I love about Christmas is that it’s the time of the year when anything feels possible. Need a miracle? Then close your eyes and make a wish. Who knows, it might just come true. Christmas is the time when we go above and beyond, when we dare to take risks. Maybe it’s because at Christmastime we take stock of what we value most in our lives…and if something is missing, then maybe it’s time to fight for it. Christmas romances are my addiction of choice. Everything matters more at Christmas, and that makes a Christmas romance all that’s best of what’s merry and bright. 

Michelle's book list on Christmas romances to make you happy sigh

Michelle Douglas Why did Michelle love this book?

Ashley who is heading home for Christmas, meets a mysterious woman on a train, and wakes up wearing an antique charm bracelet.

Once home, Ashley keeps running into her former high school boyfriend, hot firefighter Aidan. If you love small town romances (and I do) then you’ll love Ashley’s hometown which is full of community spirit, family and friends and hot chocolate, and holiday traditions. Ashley soon realizes that each charm indicates an event that happens in real life.

It all adds up to the feeling that Ashley and Aidan are meant to be. Sweetly adorable and utterly charming.

By Teri Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Christmas Charms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*One of the BEST ROMANCE NOVELS OF 2020, Cosmopolitan Magazine*

“…literally a Hallmark movie in book form.”

She never dreamed her holiday would include her hometown, a dog, or a firefighter. But a mysterious charm bracelet predicted it all…

Ashley’s supposed to be having the Christmas of her dreams. After four years of working at an upscale jewelry store in Manhattan, she’s finally going to get a little velvet box of her own―from her boyfriend Jeremy, who’s taking her on a romantic trip to Paris. What could go wrong?

Well, everything.

Ashley heads home to Owl Lake instead, falling asleep…


Book cover of A Princess for Christmas

Stacy Juba Author Of Fooling Around With Cinderella

From my list on chick lit to bring a smile to your face.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of the Storybook Valley chick-lit series, which includes Fooling Around With Cinderella and Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty. I love reading and writing lighthearted novels about young women finding their Prince Charming—and also themselves. Setting is also important to me as a writer. To create my Storybook Valley novels I spied on Cinderellas at amusement parks and discreetly watched employees head off into off-limits areas. I watched hours of YouTube interviews with former Disney World princesses, behind-the-scenes videos with other amusement park employees, and listened to podcast interviews with managers of theme parks. All the novels I chose had well-developed settings that were an integral part of the book.  

Stacy's book list on chick lit to bring a smile to your face

Stacy Juba Why did Stacy love this book?

I absolutely love Hallmark Christmas movies! Much to my husband’s chagrin, I fill up our DVR with Hallmark movies every November and December and never manage to watch them all. Many of those movies have a royal theme with a prince or princess wanting some normalcy and finding love with an American “commoner.” I originally saw this book on a shelf at Barnes & Noble and knew it would be an enjoyable holiday read. The author didn’t disappoint as she spun the tale of a NYC cab driver and his younger sister who cross paths with Princess Marie of Eldovia.  

By Jenny Holiday,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Princess for Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A perfect combination of sweet and sexy moments makes A Princess for Christmas an unputdownable read!"--Mia Sosa, USA Today bestselling author

From USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday comes a modern fairy tale just in time for Christmas about a tough New Yorker from the other side of the tracks who falls for a princess from the other side of the world.

Leo Ricci's already handling all he can, between taking care of his little sister Gabby, driving a cab, and being the super of his apartment building in the Bronx. But when Gabby spots a "princess" in a gown…


Book cover of Help Mom Work from Home!

Charlotte Offsay Author Of A Grandma's Magic

From my list on picture books to gift for Mother's Day.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a picture book author living in Los Angeles with my husband and two children. I love seeing the world through my children’s eyes and began writing stories for and inspired by them after they were born. Watching their relationships flourish with their grandparents and the grown-ups in their lives inspired me to write books that celebrate family and foster connection. My grandmas both live overseas and I treasure the time I spend with them. Just like my own children, the simplest moments together are the ones I hold onto and carry with me the most. I love books that celebrate these magical relationships and hope these books encourage readers to celebrate their own relationships.  

Charlotte's book list on picture books to gift for Mother's Day

Charlotte Offsay Why did Charlotte love this book?

Have you ever had children around while trying to work from home? Thanks to the pandemic, many working parents have had to juggle even more than usual over the past couple of years. Help Mom Work from Home! is a brilliant ode to that frazzled, sometimes-humorous often-hair-pulling juggling act. Formatted as a step-by-step guide from the kid’s perspective on how to ‘help’ mom while she works from home, it includes tips such as bedazzling her business cards and helping her relax with some yoga moves. This adorable book had my kids and me in giggles and is a lovely way to recognize and show appreciation for all that working moms juggle. ⁠ 

By Diana Murray, Cori Doerrfeld (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Help Mom Work from Home! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Mom works at home all week long, and her little one is right by her side. After all, she's a natural boss at organizing, leading meetings, and making calls-or so it seems. But when Mom starts looking frazzled, her little helper knows just how to make it all better.

Diana Murray's rollicking rhyme paired with Cori Doerrfeld's energetic and adorable illustrations will bring parent and child together after a long work day.


Book cover of The Snowman

Ross Greenwood Author Of The Santa Killer

From my list on Christmas nostalgia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved Christmas books. As I’ve gotten older, part of the attraction around Christmas is the nostalgia. Recalling the excitement as a child, the anticipation, but also the people who are no longer with us. When I started out writing, I only ever envisaged doing one book, but a little bit of success snowballed. When I was looking for ideas, I noticed my last Barton book would be released just before Christmas, and The Santa Killer was born. I wanted to write a book like Christie’s where there was the emotions around murder and crime, but also the drama of Christmas. Hopefully it’s sad, exciting, and thrilling but also poignant.

Ross' book list on Christmas nostalgia

Ross Greenwood Why did Ross love this book?

This has it all. Every time I see the cover I think of the house where I grew up and I can picture the scene in the lounge on Christmas morning where I’m sorting the presents into piles for when my grandparents arrive, while watching this on BBC2. One year I got given it as a book, and it was a different experience to read it, but just as lovely.

By Raymond Briggs,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Snowman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

An activity book based on the animated film of Raymond Briggs' The Snowman. Children of all ages will enjoy exploring the fun and excitement of Christmas with this festive book packed with things to do and make.